The OF Blog: A propos this weekend's tragic shooting

Sunday, January 09, 2011

A propos this weekend's tragic shooting

Fanatics have their dreams, wherewith they weave
A paradise for a sect; the savage too
From forth the loftiest fashion of his sleep
Guesses at Heaven; pity these have not 
Trac'd upon vellum or wild Indian leaf
The shadows of melodious utterance.

John Keats, "The Fall of Hyperion"

Wake me up from their terrible dream, please?


Derrick said...

wake you up? I take it you've never known someone who lived in Israel for an extended period of time.
At least we don't have nuts shooting stinger missiles into our suburbs...

Larry said...

You would be wrong, as one of my college roommates was from Israel. But I have awakened several times to the sound of gunfire outside my apartment around the same time...

Jason said...

Larry, thanks for sharing these beautiful lines with us. I like the idea; I love the poetry. So I feel like a bit of a jerk, but I can't help pointing out that Keats here is *praising* the fanatics and madmen, comparing their "melodious utterance" to "Poesy" itself. So to me it gives a strange, not-quite-right resonance to the horrible events of Saturday. Just my 2c; thanks for posting.

Larry said...

I know, but I was purposely recasting it in light of self-dreams. My way of being a devil quoting scripture, I suppose :P

Still, it is a very evocative poem and its beauty lasts beyond any appropriations that might take place.

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